Elections without reforms 'worst-case scenario' says Monti

'Must be avoided at all costs'

Elections without reforms 'worst-case scenario' says Monti

(ANSA) - Rome, July 31 - Italian Premier Mario Monti on Tuesday said that going to elections before agreeing on electoral reforms would be "the worst-case scenario". "The worst-case scenario that I want to avoid at all costs would be going to elections at their scheduled time but without having reformed electoral law amid a climate of partisan bickering," Monti told Italian radio program Anch'io. The prospect of Italy's much-criticised electoral system being changed increased early this year after the country's two biggest parties, former premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), found common ground on the issue. But Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has recently chided the parties for "dragging on for weeks" and not capitalizing on common ground struck earlier this year by submitting election-reform proposals to parliament. The current law has been widely criticised for distancing politicians from voters, who effectively cannot pick their representatives, as party leaders have the power to name candidates on so-called 'blocked lists', which are then voted on. As a result, candidates do not need to champion the concerns of constituents so much but they do need to lobby within their parties to get high enough on the lists to be elected.

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